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Leaders Want Baringo Disaster Resolved

Members of Parliament (MP) from Baringo North and South have called for an environmental investigation into the rising levels lake waters that has so far claimed seven schools.

Speaking in the two constituencies during a visit by Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang, William Cheptumo and Charles Kamuren called on the national government to send experts to ascertain the recent activities of Lake Baringo which has risen causing huge losses.

“So far, we have lost seven schools to the rising lake levels and we want to be certain how far it will go, so that we don’t relocate a school just for the water to catch up with it again,” said Cheptumo of Baringo North.

Education PS Dr. Belio Kipsang (centre-grey suit) shares a word with Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren (on his left) after touring Loruk Day and Secondary Schoool in Baringo North to assess the destruction caused by raising waters of Lake Baringo on schools’ infrastructure, on his right is Baringo North MP William Cheptumo.

The two legislators decried the huge losses incurred by the loss of school infrastructure but said the communities had provided alternative land for construction of new education facilities.

“There is need to quickly undertake a scientific study to ascertain the cause of the raising water not only in lake Baringo but all the lakes on the Rift Valley floor as we have lost substantive investment,” added Cheptumo.

He noted that the Kenyan Constitution guarantees a right to education and as such, it was the right and responsible move by the government to look into ways in which students could resume learning after Covid-19.

The legislator assured the PS of expansive land where the schools could be relocated. The schools affected in the constituency are Loruk Primary School, Lake Baringo Secondary School, Kampi ya Samaki Polytechnic and Kampi Ya Samaki Primary School.

On his part, Charles Kamuren said Baringo South was the worst hit and could be equated to Budalang’i area in Western Kenya as five schools have been lost.

“The problem is now permanent and we have lost five schools among them Nosukro, Kiserian and Ng’ambo Primary schools which has lost over Sh47 million worth of school property,” said Kamuren.

He added that also submerged in the waters were Ng’ambo Girls and Salabani Secondary Schools with Kiserian isolated and students may be forced to use boats to access the school.

Also on the line are Sokotei, Sintaan and Lake Bogoria Primary schools which may soon be marooned by the rising waters.

He called for the Ministry of Education to set aside emergency funds for the relocation of the schools affected so that children could continue with their education once schools reopen.

He also called for continuous humanitarian assistance to the displaced households as the residents have lost over 6000 acres worth of food plantation to the floods.

Residents of Lake Baringo stare at the flooded road leading to Lake Baringo Mixed Secondary school which has been marooned by the rising lake Baringo water making it impossible to access the school. Education PS Dr. Belio Kipsang toured the area promising to see no child misses school due to the calamity.

In response, Dr. Kipsang promised that the ministry would put all its efforts into ensuring no child misses school due to the recent floods calamity.

He said his officers were currently taking stock of the available schools to see where they can transfer some of the students as they embark on building infrastructure in areas ascertained to be far from water encroachment.

“We are going to engage the ministry of environment to ascertain the cause and how far the water will cover before rebuilding new schools,” said the PS.

He added that a multi-agency team will be formed under the leadership of the County Commissioner Henry Wafula and that the government will utilize all resources including NYS and the Defense Forces to put up new facilities.

The PS who was also accompanied by the County Governor, Security team, Regional, County and National Education officials toured Lake Bogoria Primary School, Lake Baringo Girls, Loruk Day and Boarding Primary School before inspecting Covid-19 reopening preparedness at Moi Teachers Training College in Baringo Central.

By Christopher Kiprop

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